Deposed Egypt president’s spokesman faces trial

Since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ousted Mursi in July 2013, authorities have cracked down hard on the Brotherhood

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The former spokesman for Egypt's deposed Islamist President Mohammad Mursi faces trial for allegedly helping an ex-premier try to flee to Sudan, a judicial source said on Saturday.

Yasser Ali, who was arrested in Cairo in December, is accused of aiding a "convicted man sought by the judicial authorities," a reference to Islamist former Prime Minister Hisham Qandil.

Qandil was detained, also last December, for trying to leave the country illegally for Sudan.

Another 12 people are being sought in connection with the same case.

Qandil, premier under Mursi, had a one-year jail sentence overturned on appeal in July.

Ali is also being charged with membership of Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood, proscribed since December as a "terrorist" organisation accused of carrying out attacks on the security forces.

The Brotherhood denies such accusations, saying its activities are non-violent.

The judicial source said no date has yet been fixed for Ali's trial.

Since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, now president and then military chief, ousted Mursi in July 2013, the authorities have cracked down hard on the Brotherhood, with an estimated 1,400 backers of the ousted Islamist killed.

Thousands more have been detained and imprisoned.

Hundreds of people have also been sentenced to death in speedy mass trials that have sparked an international outcry.

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